Concern about deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a potentially life-threatening disorder in which blood clots form in the deep veins of the body, particularly the legs, has been growing in recent years after several cases were attributed to long flights.
In an airplane, the dehydration caused by the dry air may thicken blood. In addition, the low cabin pressure, combined with immobility in cramped seats, may cause blood to collect in the legs. In about half of all cases, deep vein thrombosis may occur without any noticeable symptoms.
When deep vein thrombosis symptoms occur, they can include:
Swelling in the affected leg, including swelling in your ankle and foot.
Pain in your leg; this can include pain in your ankle and foot. The pain often starts in your calf and can feel like cramping or a charley horse.
Warmth over the affected area.
Changes in your skin color, such as turning pale, red or blue.
Dr. Jeffrey Alpern, DO, a cardiovascular surgeon and the founder of Vein Specialists of Arizona recommends you walk around the cabin every 30-60 minutes if possible during a flight 2 hours or longer. In addition; wearing compression stockings can decrease pressure in the veins and doing simple stretching exercises while seated can help tremendously. Try to limit alcohol and caffeine, which may contribute to dehydration.
According to the Mayo clinic many factors can increase your risk of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT), including:
The Physicians and bi-lingual staff at Vein Specialists of Arizona are here to answer your questions and concerns call (623) 428-0068